Options for developing an affordable health benefits plan


By: Mark Gilblair, USHEALTH Advisor

     Let’s face it; there is no perfect plan out there since there is always room for improvement! The closest thing to a perfect plan is if someone else is paying 100% of your coverage. If you’re lucky a generous employer will cover your deductible and out of pocket expenses too. These scenarios exist, but not for most of us.  

     Self-insurance is usually an option for larger corporations but some small companies have the wherewithal to create savings by partially self-insuring coupled with provider insurance to cover larger claims.

    Trending are “defined health plans” so employees can select their own coverage with an allowance providing more choices than an employer group plan would. Employers can enjoy a fixed cost for 18 months or so. As premiums will surely rise each year employees will expect an increase in their insurance stipend. Another option is not offering coverage or stipend to employees, but that does not attract desired employees or help with retention. When ACA passed: employers with less than 50 employees were not mandated to provide health coverage. After a flood of complaints from small business the new mandated cut off became 100 employees or less. Employers are not subject to penalties, but employees are subject to individual fines.

    There are providers such as Freedom Life Insurance Company of America that do not participate in the exchanges, but instead offer excepted benefits plans.  Freedom Life’s excepted benefits plans are underwritten, offering one way to help control premium costs.  They utilize a business association like the American Independent Business Coalition (https://www.aibcoalition.com) which provides benefits for small businesses and individuals alike.

     No single option mentioned above is best for all businesses, however one or two may be ideal for your business. Ask yourself: What options give you long term cost control? Which options have the least coverage gaps? In the event of a critical illness: what will best serve you during a claim and throughout recovery?

Blog by: Mark Gilblair USHEALTH Advisor   Mark.gilblair@ushadvisors.com  847-875-2344847-875-2344 “Helping People Everyday”